These 10 Bad Habits Are Amplifying Your Stress

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Stress happens. It’s a simple fact of life. Your job, your social life, your family, your relationships, your schooling, your bills, even your hobbies can be stressful. But, you could have some habits that make it so much worse for yourself. These 10 habits amplify your stress like crazy making your life harder than it needs to be.

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1: Procrastinating

Sometimes you’re too busy to get to that big project right away. Other times, you just need a break for a few minutes. It’s easy to justify procrastination. Then again, studies have found that procrastination causes a lot of stress, and can actually make your work less effective. Yikes!

Scheduling things out in advance can really help curb procrastination. Make a goal for yourself to finish things early, and reward yourself for every project finished on time.

2: Fibbing

What’s the harm in one little white lie, especially if it gets you out of something unpleasant? Well, the fact is that lying causes major problems for your mental health. Studies show that lying releases a lot of stress hormone in your brain. It causes so much stress that it can start to cause problems for your physical health as well. The old adage is true, “the truth will set you free”.

If you find yourself in the habit of telling little -or big- lies, track the number of times you lie every day. Make a daily goal to lie at least one less time the next day. Reward yourself every time you make your goal.

3: TV Binging

You might think you’re relaxing to a day of nothing but your favorite TV show, but you’re really hurting your psychological health. Studies have linked TV binging to increased anxiety and depression. Anxiety is stress to the extreme and depression causes stress as well.

Limit the number of episodes to two or three per day. Fill the rest of your free time reading, walking, or taking up a hobby.

Binge Watching TV

4: Social Networking

Social networking is a fantastic tool to keep in touch with friends, find new employers, and more. But, just like any other tool, social networking can be dangerous if you don’t use it right. Researchers have discovered that too much social networking can cause so much stress over your image, your profile, and you on-line life that it can actually cause mental disorders linked with anxiety, and depression.

Be sure to take breaks from social media. If you find yourself spending too much time on social media, try limiting yourself to a certain number of hours or minutes per day.

5: Self-Depreciating

Dissing yourself causes stress. You might not see the harm in rejecting that compliment, or joking around about how stupid you think you are, but your brain doesn’t think it’s funny. This habit not only causes you undue stress, depression, and anxiety but, it also can lead to people treating you poorly. If you rag on yourself all the time, it can teach others to rag on you too. It’s a bad habit all around.

Focus on saying nice things about yourself. Celebrate your best features, and recognize that you’re human. Forgive yourself, and learn to make yourself a priority.

6: Over Caffinating

Caffeine is that beautiful word that might coax you out of bed every morning. It also might be that too you use to stay up all night. Whatever the use may be, you should know that caffeine can be causing you stress. Caffeine makes you produce stress hormones, it’s part of how it works.

If you’re feeling extra stressed in your life, you might want to consider cutting back on your caffeine intake. If you find you need an energy boost, go to bed earlier, exercise in the mornings, and take multivitamins. A great Vitamin B12 complex can actually boost your energy levels without giving you the jitters.

Downsides of Coffee

7: Living With Clutter

Have you ever noticed that your living space irritates you for some reason? It could be the clutter. Research has found that clutter distracts you when you’re trying to do things like homework, pay bills, or even relax which causes stress and frustration.

Organizing your space can really bring down the stresses of your life. Throw away junk mail, and do a lite straightening ever night before you go to bed. Invest in organizing baskets, and wall hooks to keep your space clutter free.

8: People Pleasing

You might think it’s easier to just give people what they want no matter the cost to yourself personally. If you find yourself saying “yes”, even to things you don’t like, agree with, or want to do, it could be more than just an inconvenience. People pleasing can lead to a lot of excess stress because it often involves putting your own needs on hold. Give yourself some credit.

Don’t be afraid to say no, or to disagree. You don’t have to please everyone. In fact, you can’t please everyone. Learn to do what’s best for your life.

9: Neglecting “Me Time”

One of the best ways you can reduce stress is by taking some time for yourself. Go for a walk, take a hot bath, or do something that you enjoy. However, life is busy and it seems like one of the first things that get bumped out of the schedule is “me time”. So, the stress piles on.

Keep a little “me time” as a priority in your life. It’s the easiest way to decompress so you can tackle life like you know you can.

10: Over Analyzing

So, you over analyze things. It’s a habit of thought. Everybody does it to one degree or another. But, it’s more than just an annoying habit. Over analyzing can become thought consuming, stress inducing, and even dangerous.

Focus on letting things go. Cross bridges when you come to them, and focus on the moment at hand.

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Additional Resources

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About the author

I'm an avid reader and love anything to do with mindfulness and mental health!

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